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Orange Memorial Day Ceremony Rainy Weather Style

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May 302021
 

The Memorial Day Ceremony at the gazebo is a treasured tradition in the town of Orange. The Memorial Day Committee works tirelessly for months to plan the events, from who the honored veterans will be to inviting town and state dignitaries and putting together the marching order for the parade.

So when Mother Nature sticks her nose into the mix and decides to rain on the parade, the committee has to quickly change the logistics — move the very important ceremony indoors — inform the public that there won’t be a parade, and ensure that the building custodian is available at the conclusion of the ceremony.

 

This year, longtime chairman Kevin Gilbert, who ran the events for decades, took a step back and handed the reigns over to Kellie Martino. Oh, Kevin is still a part of the planning but he is happy to see things run so smoothly with a new chairman at the helm. “She did a wonderful job, thinking to do things we’ve never done before,” Gilbert said. “Like the Facebook page.”

Martino brought the Committee into the 21st century, introducing an Orange Memorial Day Parade Facebook page to which everyone could refer for information and last-minute updates, such as posting the parade cancellation at 8:30 a.m.

The indoor ceremony was last-minute indeed, but very well organized and well attended. The Orange Police Honor Guard, accompanied by Chief Robert Gagne and Assistant Chief Max Martins were present. Members of Orange CERT, a scout troop, and the American Legion Post 127 Honor Guard also attended. The entire rear corner of the Community Center Gym was filled by the rank and file of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

Many veterans filled the seats, that were spaced a “safe distance” apart. Some in the audience wore masks, others did not.

The ceremony followed the regular schedule, invocation; Pledge of Allegiance; Diane Raikis’s beautiful rendition of the National Anthem; comments from First Selectman Jim Zeoli, then the introductions of, and comments by the three honored veterans — Grand Marshal Dr. Norman Marieb Lt. MCUSNR US Navy 1961-63, Chief of Staff Kevin Hadlock Lt. US Navy 1971-74, and Honored Veteran Louis Eagle SP4 US Army 1960-63.

Our lawmakers came next: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and former House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.

They were followed by Keynote speaker Chris Carvath, an attorney who also serves on the Orange Police Commission.

Anna May Pieger, the president of the Post #127 Auxiliary presented the sons of Al Pol and Richard Manley the sashes that their fathers wore in past parades.

One staple of the ceremony is the student essay winners’ reading of their winning submissions. The subject of the 2021 essay was “Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?”

The winners, one from each Orange elementary school were Armaan Shrivastav, Chloe Chang and Avery French. Their essays won the approving nods of the veterans in attendance.

Rosa DeLauro and Richard Blumenthal both took copies of the essays to enter into the state’s congressional and senate records.

New this year, was the Memorial Day Program Cover Contest. The winner of the inaugural contest was student Avery Alves.

Fred O’Brien read the names of every Orange veteran who passed away between May 2019 to May 2021.

Kevin McKeon played Taps as the veterans stood at attention and saluted.

The ceremony concluded with a benediction from Antoinette Hudgens.

It was wonderful to see so many families come out to honor the brave men and women who helped to secure our freedom.

 

 

Public Hearing For New Fire Dept. Pumper Truck On May 12

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Apr 262021
 

TOWN OF ORANGE
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
ON THE PROPOSED FINANCING BY THE ORANGE VOLtJNTEER FIRE ASSOCIATION, INC.

Notice is hereby given the Board of Selectmen located in Orange, Connecticut will meet on May 12, 2021, at 7:OO p.m. at High Plains Community Center, 525 0range Center Road, Orange, Connecticut Gymnasium for the purpose of holding a public hearing pursuant to requirements of Section 147(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, on a proposal the Orange

Volunteer Fire Association, Inc. (the “Issuer”) enter into an agreement to finance certain equipment. The equipment to be financed consists of a 2022 Custom Spartan Class A Pumper and will be maintained at the fire station(s) in Orange, Connecticut.

To finance the cost of such equipment and to pay costs and expenses incidental to the financing, the Issuer proposes to enter into a loan agreement with a maximum aggregate principal amount not to exceed $478,799.00 (NO DP ADD l 0%). The Issuer will be required to pay all taxes on the equipment. The rental payments due pursuant to the loan agreement will be secured by a security interest in the equipment.

All persons interested may be heard at said time and place or may file written comments with the Board of Selectmen prior to the date of hearing set forth heretofore.

Notice of Public Hearing dated at Orange, CT and published this 23rd day of April 2021.

TOWN OF ORANGE
BOARD SELECTMEN

 

Future Firefighters, Here’s Something For You

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Nov 162020
 

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department is accepting applications for its Junior FireFighter program for teens ages 16-18.
This is a great opportunity to get involved in your community and start a rewarding future in the fire service and set yourself up for a possible career in Fire and EMS. NOTE: Inclusion in this public service looks great on a college application.
For more information, and links to the application, visit https://orangevfd.org/juniors/

Surprised-Looking Pumpkin Wins First Orange Pumpkin Blaze

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Nov 152020
 

A surprised, one-eyed pumpkin won the People’s Choice Award at the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s first pumpkin-carving contest.

Adria Boyle won the top prize. She carved the face into the surface of the pumpkin. And to make it just a little more Halloween-scary, the missing eye – a chunk of stringy pumpkin – sits on the bench in front of the winning gourd.

 

Other winners included:

Brynn Panapada, Happiest pumpkin

Kate Panapada, Cutest pumpkin

Chloe Clemens, Prettiest pumpkin

Helene Flynn, Best traditional pumpkin

Silas Hill, Most hungry pumpkin

Kaury and Ian Kucera, Most intricate pumpkin

Zoe Kucera, Most adorable pumpkin

Melissa Parniawski, Spookiest pumpkin

Orange Children’s Dentistry, Most unusual pumpkin

Mia Quoka, Most athletic pumpkin

Greyson Fatone, Most team-spirited pumpkin

All winners received a certificate and more importantly, had fun.

“We created this contest to give people a little extra fun during a Halloween season during which the nouveau coronavirus prevented a lot of traditional activities,” said Rob Panapada, the Orange firefighter who created and coordinated the program. “All the participants said they had a good time. We hope the Orange Pumpkin Blaze will become a new Orange tradition.”

Obituary: Elfo “Al” Pol, 94, Beloved Father, Grandfather, Town Treasure, Veteran

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Jun 232020
 

Elfo “Al” Sante Pol, 94, of Orange, husband of the late Anita De Mio Pol, passed away June 18, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Loving father of Raymond Pol of Orange, Kenneth (Linda) Pol of Meriden, Andrew Pol of Milford, Michael (Laura) Pol of Onset, MA, Daniel (Laura Schumann) Pol of Washington, DC and the late Lawrence Pol. Brother of William F. Pol of Canoga Park, CA.

He also is survived by 7 cherished grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Al was born in New Haven on January 2, 1926, a son of the late Pietro and Adele Fullin Pol.

After attending Boardman Trade School in New Haven, Al proudly served in the U.S. Army, 65th Infantry Division during WWII as a heavy machine gunner, cook, and divisional instructor in electricity and electronics and participated in the Rhineland and Central European campaigns.

He worked as an electrician for the New York-New Haven-Hartford, Penn Central, and Conrail Railroads for 40 years while also establishing an electrical contracting business. After retiring in 1985, he became the Town of Orange electrical inspector for 32 years, until retiring in 2018 at age 92. Al and his late wife Anita had never-ending civic pride for the Town of Orange, the place they called home for over 60 years.

He was an elected constable, rose early to work the election polls, and volunteered at the Orange Country Fair and Firemen’s Carnival. Even into his 90s, you could find Al marching in the Memorial Day Parades, typically as a Parade Marshal.

Al was a member of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for 55 years, retiring at age 90 – after serving as a Captain, and more than 30 years as treasurer. A member of the American Legion Orange Post 127 for 56 years, serving many years as their treasurer and receiving the Legionnaire of the Year award in 2019.

Al played card games weekly throughout his life with family and friends. At the Orange Senior Center, he taught his favorite card game, bridge. Along with his passion for cards, he would enjoy a good book, a great movie, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku.

An avid sports fan, he enjoyed attending NY Yankee games and watching NY Yankees and NY Giants games with his sons.

Friends may call at the PORTO FUNERAL HOME, 830 Jones Hill Rd., West Haven, on Thursday, June 25, from 5-8 p.m., and are invited to go directly to Holy Infant Church Friday morning for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Interment with military honors will follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery, 280 Derby Ave, West Haven.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion Post 127, 630 Grassy Hill Rd., Orange CT 06477. Sign Al’s guest book online at www.portofuneralhomes.net

Orange Fire Department Posts Funeral Arrangements for Fire Marshal Tim Smith

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Jan 222020
 

Hundreds expected to pay respects to fire marshal killed in the line of duty Sunday

Firefighters, police and municipal officials from across Connecticut and beyond are expected to pay their respects this weekend to Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith, who died in the line of duty Sunday.

Working on behalf of the family, First Selectman James Zeoli, Orange Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas and Deputy Fire Marshal James Vincent laid out the plans to accommodate Smith’s family and members of the public safety community who wish to attend Friday’s wake and Saturday’s funeral.

Here are the details:

Wake – Friday, Jan. 24

Smith’s wake will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Cody White Funeral Home, 107 Broad Street, Milford. An honor guard is being provided by members of the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office and the Orange Volunteer Fire Association, as well as members from surrounding departments who worked with Smith. In addition, the Connecticut Statewide Honor Guard will be assisting.

Except for on-duty personnel, those attending the wake are asked to enter from the rear of the building. On-duty personnel can enter the front of the funeral home. They will be escorted to the front of the line so they can pay their respects and get back on duty.

Parking arrangements are:

  • The Cody-White parking lot (2) is reserved for the family and handicapped guests.
  • The public and individual firefighters are asked to park in the Milford Senior Center lot on Jepson Drive (3).  If the Jepson Drive lot fills up, additional parking will be available behind the Milford courthouse, 14 W. River St.  A shuttle bus will run between those locations and the funeral home.
  • Berchem Moses PC, attorneys, have made their parking lot at 75 Broad St. (4) available. It is designated for public safety chiefs with official cars and municipal officials.
  • On-duty personnel can park their vehicles on the eastbound side of Broad Street opposite the funeral home.

Because of the number of people expected, Nelson Ambulance will have an EMS unit standing by and Milford Fire will have their canteen truck available.

Funeral – Saturday, Jan. 25

Tim Smith’s life will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Holy Infant Church, 450 Racebrook Road in Orange. Parking will be available at the church. If additional parking is needed, it will be available at Saint Barbara’s Church. Personnel will be on the scene to direct guests to parking. There is no graveside service.

A repast is scheduled after the funeral at the Racebrook Country Club, 246 Derby Ave.

As is the tradition for fallen firefighters, Smith will be transported from the funeral home to the church on the back of a fire engine, accompanied by an honor guard. Apparatus from many area departments are expected to be part of the procession. The funeral will feature bagpipers from three pipe-and-drum groups, a last dispatch to honor Smith, the ringing of a ceremonial fire bell and the presentation of a flag and Smith’s helmet to his family.

During the wake and funeral, firefighters from Ansonia, Oxford, North Branford and East Haven will be in Orange to respond to alarms.  AMR will post an ambulance near the church.

Smith was called to the scene of a house fire Sunday afternoon to investigate the cause. After he completed the investigation, he was headed home when he was killed in a one-vehicle motor vehicle accident. The crash is still under investigation by the Woodbridge Police Dept. and the Connecticut State Police accident reconstruction team.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the fire and police departments in surrounding towns,” said Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas. “While we work to help Tim’s family and friends, including members of our own department and the Fire Marshal’s office, the sympathy, support and very real commitment of time and resources from these other departments is helping Orange firefighters pay tribute to Tim and mourn his loss.”

Major Intersection Closed Due To Accident

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Aug 202019
 

random file photo of a nighttime accident scene.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to an accident on Grassy Hill and Old Grassy Hill Roads around 8:15 p.m.

The accident reportedly involved a piece of farm equipment and emergency crews are dealing with chemical and fluid spills in the road, which is very near a watershed and popular fishing area.

The DEEP has been called and the road is closed and will be closed for quite some time.

Find an alternative route if you are headed to the Parkway or Route 34.

Give the crews some room to do their jobs and let others know if you’re aware of anyone that will be heading out that way.

 

Three Residents Evaluated For Smoke Inhalation In Orange

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Jun 022019
 

A fire in an unattended self-cleaning oven Saturday night caused damage to an Orange home and led to three people being evaluated for smoke inhalation.

Orange volunteer firefighters were called to 832 Quarter Mile Road in Orange shortly before 9:30 p.m. Saturday for a report of an oven fire. Firefighters discovered that the family had set the self-cleaning oven to clean and then left the house. When they returned, they found the house full of smoke and items in the storage drawer under the stove burning.

According to the fire chief, “The family called 9-1-1 and they were able to put out the fire and remove the storage drawer from the home. In doing so, however, they inhaled a lot of smoke, causing some health concerns.”

While some firefighters cleared smoke from the home, others performed an initial medical evaluation of the people who were in the home. The residents were further evaluated by American Medical Response personnel but declined to go to the hospital.

“Operating between 800 and 1,000 degrees, self-cleaning ovens are a great convenience, but should not be left unattended,” the chief said. “While some ranges have storage drawers underneath the ovens, homeowners should be certain that the drawer is indeed a storage drawer rather than a warmer or broiler. It can be confusing. And, like any other appliance, ranges need to be maintained and used following instructions.”

He said the fire resulted in damage to the oven and smoke damage to the kitchen. The Fire Department does not issue damage estimates and because Orange firefighters were involved in the medical treatment of the homeowners, their names were protected under federal patient privacy rules. The Orange Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the incident.

It’s The Time Of Year For Chimney Fires And Other Emergency Situations.

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Nov 252018
 

(Photo by OVFD)

On Sunday, Nov. 25 at around 4:30 p.m., the Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to a chimney fire.

Engine 34, Ladder 37 and Car 2 arrived on the scene in 4 minutes and began dealing with the situation.

Engine 35 and Rescue 1 arrived shortly thereafter.

Firefighters worked inside the home and on the roof for about 45 minutes, isolating the fire to the chimney and fireplace, preventing the fire from spreading to the rest of the structure.

This is what our highly trained volunteer firefighters do, respond to every emergency where they are needed at any time of day, in all types of weather and taking care of the situation thoroughly and professionally.

Thank You OVFD for your selfless service.

OVFD Warns Of The Damage Live Wires Can Do

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Sep 042018
 

A live wire fire on New Haven Ave on Aug. 12.
(Courtesy OVFD)

A follow-up post from a fire call on Sunday, August 12, on New Haven Ave:

After about an hour of burning on the roadway, the UI was about to shut the power off to the line that had fallen and arched. This was the aftermath…crews emptied a tank of water onto the burning asphalt and still could not cool it enough. As you can see in the last photo, it even turned some of the asphalt and sand into glass!

This is a reminder that ANY lines you see that have fallen from the poles are to be treated as LIVE WIRES. This wire fire burnt a 12-foot line in the road, it could do much worse to someone who touches it or runs it over with their vehicle.

[From the OVFD Facebook Page]